Obama’s Moment

29 Aug

In consideration of Casper’s request for a weekly positive post, I will do my best here, go out on an unchartered limb, and compliment President Obama for a fairly good speech yesterday. Of course there were the usual smatterings of leftism sprinkled in, but that is to be expected, however I do want to compliment him for stating the following:

Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse- making for criminal behavior. Racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination. And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself. All of that history is how progress stalled. That’s how hope was diverted. It’s how our country remained divided.

“As if we had no agency in our own liberation” – what an excellent phrase. I hope the black community accepts that as a challenge to overcome whatever elements of racism exist in our society to personally motivate themselves and reach for higher economic ground. In my opinion, there are two HUGE obstacles confronting the black community and only they can remedy them – out of wedlock birth and education. Men have to be responsible for the children they sire and that is a universal truth regardless of color. Unfortunately, black men are falling down in this area, and their children suffer enormously, as does society. Black on black crime constitutes 92% of all black community crime, and that is a shame that only they can address. Discipline and love within the family unit of a two parent household is not the entire answer, but it is one good step in the right direction and it is incumbent upon the fathers and mothers of those children to see that it happens more often. Michelle and Barack Obama are two very good examples for that community to aspire to.

Education – one of the tragedies that I even see here in my area amongst the black community is the notion that being smart is “acting white”. Where in the hell did that come from? A while back I wrote a piece on what Don Lemon with CNN had to say and he was spot on – “pull your pants up”, “stop using the N word”, “respect your community”, “finish school”, and “stop having babies”.  Don Lemon should have been applauded for his “tough love”, but instead he was excoriated. Young black kids need “tough love”, they crave it, and it is long over due they receive it. I want every black child to receive a demanding education, and that will require that they have the choice to attend the school that delivers it, rather than being forced into attending a school simply based on where they reside. We need school choice!

I long for the day that our country can get to the point that Obama envisioned again in yesterday’s speech:

We’ll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago. Hear memories of the 1963 march and how it altered the lives of those who attended. And I believe that spirit is there, that true force inside each of us. I see it when a white mother recognizes her own daughter in the face of a poor black child. I see it when the black youth thinks of his own grandfather in the dignified steps of an elderly white man. It’s there when the native born recognizing that striving spirit of a new immigrant, when the interracial couple connects the pain of a gay couple who were discriminated against and understands it as their own. That’s where courage comes from, when we turn not from each other or on each other but towards one another, and we find that we do not walk alone. That’s where courage comes from.

We can get there, but it will require that we actually listen to each other, and stop the knee jerk reaction of wanting to call everyone a racist for pointing out hard truths. Are you listening Chris Matthews?



Posted by on August 29, 2013 in Racial Issues


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20 responses to “Obama’s Moment

  1. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

    August 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

    And do give my pal Chris Matthews a break. He’s an old school liberal Irish kid from Philly who, before he went to UNC didn’t know racism from a pound of corned beef. What he saw down there still persisting in the 1970s, first scared him and then as it should to all rational people, angered him.

  2. mitchethekid

    August 29, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Cluster, you should send your post to all Republican members of Congress for not one of them felt any sense of duty to the American people; all of them, to attended yesterdays events.
    And being a huge Chris Mathews fan, I am honestly puzzled as to why you don’t care for him. You probably feel the same way about my old pal Keith Olberman as well. I think Mathews has a real talent for describing the obvious and holding those who are divisive and often times just plain crazy, accountable and responsible. No need to mention any names. I’d be typing for hours.
    I don’t know why, but my mind works in free-form association. Usually it’s lines from music lyrics, passages from books or movie dialog. As I was thinking about just why no Republican leaders showed up, this came to mind. It’s from one of the best Clint I talk to chairs Eastwood movies, Josey Wales. If I’m not mistaken, I think it was his directorial debut.

    Ten Bears: These things you say we will have, we already have.

    Josey Wales: That’s true. I ain’t promising you nothing extra. I’m just giving you life and you’re giving me life. And I’m saying that men can live together without butchering one another.

    Ten Bears: It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life… or death. It shall be life.

    • Cluster

      August 29, 2013 at 9:24 am

      …all Republican members of Congress for not one of them felt any sense of duty to the American people; all of them, to attended yesterdays events.

      They were not invited until the last minute, nor were any of them asked to speak, including Sen. Tim Scott.

      Thanks NAACP

      • watsonthethird

        August 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm

        It still seems odd. Even if they were only given a couple of weeks notice, it is hard to understand how no Republican could make it to the event. If I’m the RNC chair, I would have been going crazy trying to find someone to participate. It’s just really bad looking for Republicans. But… maybe their base doesn’t care.

      • Cluster

        August 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        Maybe if one of them were invited to speak – say Sen. Tim Scott, or maybe Herman Cain. In fact the other night Chris Matthews opined that maybe the GOP should run a black candidate for POTUS to show they are trying to reach out. Did he forget about Herman Cain?

      • Cluster

        August 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm

        His opinions and ideas do have a following and are not extreme. Besides, a party that boasts the likes of Maxine Waters, and Sheila Jackson Lee really doesn’t have much room to call someone else crazy.

        Peace out.

      • Cluster

        August 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      • Cluster

        August 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      • ricorun

        August 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        Gosh, isn’t that nice. The Democrats and Republicans held separate MLK events. If that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart — portending as it does great togetherness for the future — I don’t know what could.

        Anyway, great post Cluster.

      • GMB

        August 29, 2013 at 7:31 pm

        One answer. ” Hank, Guam will tip over, Johnson” Now there is a great political mind.

      • watsonthethird

        August 30, 2013 at 10:33 am

        Actually, I think they were invited to speak. According to this article, several of the top ranking Republican congressmen were asked to speak. And Cluster, come on, it’s not as though the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington snuck up on people. The date has been known for 50 years.

      • Cluster

        August 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

        I don’t believe there were any Democrats at the RNC event either.

      • watsonthethird

        August 30, 2013 at 11:37 am

        The RNC event? lol. That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Once again the Republicans look like complete asses, ignoring the 50th anniversary, to which they were invited and invited to speak, but every single one of them had some excuse, for an event whose exact date has been known for, oh, 50 years. And they stage their own even instead. And this is the teeniest, tiniest of goofy things the Republicans have been doing lately as a group. Frankly, it’s hard to take them seriously anymore. I suppose the next thing we’ll hear is that this is yet another reason President Obama should be impeached.

      • Cluster

        August 30, 2013 at 11:48 am

        Don’t be so quick to mock. The “March” was organized by the NAACP, not exactly a conservative bastion, and was only organized over the last several months – not the last 50 years. And the only black senator, republican Tim Scott, WAS NOT invited to speak. The RNC held their own event, which is completely within their right, especially if we are all to aspire to MLK’s vision of being judged by the content of character, rather than color of skin. In my opinion, the NAACP would prefer we be judged by the color of skin.

        And I don’t think Obama should be impeached but his dismal record speaks for itself. I also wonder what his “exit strategy” is for Syria should he choose to do anything, and if it would be considered “going it alone” considering that Britain has voted to not intervene.

      • Cluster

        August 30, 2013 at 11:56 am

        One other thing – I don’t know why liberals expect Republicans to go out of their way to appease a constituency that never votes for them. The members of the NAACP will not be voting Republican any time soon because they have too much of a cozy and profitable relationship with Democrats.

  3. mitchethekid

    August 29, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Seriously? Could it be that I’m mistaken?? Sob. “-(

  4. casper

    August 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for the post. Wish I had the energy to say more.

    • GMB

      August 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      “Thanks for the post. Wish I had the energy to say more.”

      You and me both. Two almost solid days of hand harvesting. Just about half done with the season though.

      Then it’s time to be a bit thorny.

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